There was some conversation back a ways when it was suggested that I do my pastoral internship at St. Stephan’s Grace in the Ironbound. The neighborhood is a culturally rich enclave in Newark – with a variety of restaurants, bodegas and shops. It’s an immigrant community – where the predominant language spoken at the church then was Portuguese, followed closely by Spanish, with English a distant third. Folks there certainly knew more English than I did either Portuguese or Spanish. But, that’s not saying much. Nevertheless, the pastors at St. Stephan’s Grace and Candidacy Committee – that had recommended this placement – all agreed, as did I, that it would be best for me to be there for the year.
It didn’t take long to see that this was indeed true. (more…)
There aren’t too many family pictures from my childhood. Looking back, that’s probably not such a bad thing. But, we always had photos from special days – holidays, birthdays, and Christmas, dance recitals, graduations. Easter was always a big one because after the long winter, we could finally put on our Sunday best – new Easter outfit – complete with hat and gloves and go outside as the trees were beginning to bud and as daffodils and crocuses were peeking through the ground – signs of spring and new life.
Spring is also a time of new beginnings for those of us who are sports fans. Opening Day for baseball coinciding this year with Passover and Holy Week. Not good for ticket sales – but still a good escape. And again, signs that hope is around the corner. At least if you’re like me – a Mets fan. A good weekend, a good season so far.
And good for college basketball – as the Final Four is being played this weekend, too. Finally putting an end to an incredible month of March Madness.
I can’t even imagine that there are some of you here today who could care less. (more…)
He felt hopeless. Overwhelmed. Alone. Hurt. Abandoned. Deserted. Helpless.
Helplessness without God Is… Just ask him…
He had stood countless times at the foot of the hospital bed. Been there with doctors to deliver the news. Been there to hear about a critical diagnosis. Life-changing treatment. Helped families make decisions about options, those next steps.
This time was different. (more…)